City holds ribbon cutting for Crescent Park

Brandie Richardson
The ribbon cutting for Crescent Park was held on March 17 and was dedicated to the late Councilman Emile Spano. His wife, Mary, was honored with cutting the ribbon.

The City of Donaldsonville held a ribbon cutting last week to celebrate the completion of the historic Crescent Park. Public officials and residents gathered at the park along Mississippi St. for the long awaited opening on March 17 that was dedicated to the late Councilman Emile Spano.

"This project has been a long time coming," said Mayor Leroy Sullivan. "We went through a lot of ups and downs, a lot of how are we going to fund it. The city council had to do some juggling in order to get the funds to create this park. Everyone pitched in."

The revitalization of the park, which cost over $1 million, was funded by the State of Louisiana, the City of Donaldsonville and the Industrial Development Board. Due to lowering the cost of the project, some items originally planned had to be eliminated, such as the addition of an area of the park to look similar to a farmers market, Sullivan said.

"Everything is changing, Donaldsonville is changing, it's a slow process but it's things like this that where you can come and see we are making a change and we are working hard together to satisfy everyone," said Councilman Reginald Francis Sr.

"We get a lot of comments about recreation and this is a form of recreation where you can come and sit down and relax," Councilman Lauthaught Delaney added."When you look at this park you can see that it is pleasant to be part of. Lets take care of it and utilize it where we can give Donaldsonville a boost."

There will be some new additions to the historic park such as new benches and a trash bins along the walkways.

"The City plans on using this park a lot," the Mayor said. "We want the people of this community to use it, but we don't want it to be abused. We don't want people to take and destroy this wonderful park."

The council presented a plaque to Spano's family for his dedication to the City and his district. A plaque in remembrance of the late councilman will also be added to the park in the coming weeks.

"This is history making for the City of Donaldsonville and he was part of it and we want to make sure he is remembered as long as the rest of us," Sullivan added.

Crescent Park has been part of Donaldsonville's history since 1853. Originally developed by John Belson, it was used as a market place that was built for only $6,000. Though it has been damaged, torn down and repaired many times throughout the years, the location of the park remains a vital historic locations for the City.

An official grand opening and dedication ceremony for the park will be held on April 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a live performance by King PaKaYea' Band.